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Building company and director sentenced after carrying out unsafe and unnecessary work

A building company and its director have been sentenced today after carrying out unsafe and unnecessary building work.

BBS Improvements Limited and sole director Barrie John Henry Birch were sentenced after a joint investigation by Worcestershire Trading Standards Service and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uncovered a string of health and safety and fraud offences.

Worcester Crown Court heard how Mr Birch, operating under BBS Improvements Ltd, was employed to carry out building work on a domestic property in Redditch. A complaint was made to Trading Standards who instructed an expert to examine the roof. The expert confirmed that the work was wholly unnecessary and that the work done had no value whatsoever. During the course of their investigations Trading Standards also uncovered potential health and safety issues. HSE inspectors found that the company was carrying out work at height without scaffolding and that there were no measures in place to prevent employees from falling.  People were walking on the roof of the house with no safety measures in place to prevent them from falling and Mr Birch was present and fully aware of the people working unsafely on the roof.

At the time the complaint was received Mr Birch was also before the court for similar offences committed while trading as a sole trader under the name BBS Improvements.  The Court heard how Mr Birch was employed to carry out minor roofing repair work on a domestic property in Bromsgrove. After inspecting the roof Mr Birch advised the homeowner that the whole roof required replacing. A Trading Standards investigation, involving an expert examination of the roof found that the work to replace the roof was totally unnecessary.

Mr Birch admitted an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 and an offence under the Consumer Protection from unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in relation to unnecessary work carried out at a property in Bromsgrove during June 2016. He also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.  Mr Birch also asked for 5 other, similar matters to be taken into consideration including two offences of failing to provide the 10 Year Insurance Backed Guarantee.

For the Trading Standards offences and the HSE offences Mr Birch was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and was disqualified from being a Company Director for 5 years. He was ordered to pay compensation to the victims and to make a contribution to the prosecution costs. BBS Improvements Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the company was fined £200.